Failing Test and Trace system left thousands of North East Covid-19 contacts untraced

New analysis by the Labour Party has revealed that the Government’s disastrous Test & Trace system has failed to trace, in the last week alone, almost 10,000 close contacts of people in the North East who tested positive for Covid-19.

The analysis, verified by the House of Commons Library, reveals a deeply flawed contact tracing system unable to handle the increase in Covid-19 cases as the country enters a second wave. The most recent data shows that across England, almost a quarter of a million contacts (245,481) of people who have tested positive have not been reached.

Last week I urged the Government to bring in the people with the local knowledge and expertise to get the track and trace system working- and stop wasting billions on a failed, contracted out approach. Local authorities have a 97% track and trace success record compared to 57% traced by the national system, despite all the money spent.

The Government has spent billions of pounds on its national track and trace system, and are now spending millions more…

Posted by Catherine McKinnell on Thursday, 15 October 2020


A contact is defined as someone who has come into close contact with someone who tested positive for the virus. Reaching 80% of close contacts is considered one of the key means of slowing transmission of Covid-19. Yet Labour’s analysis shows that the Government’s contact tracing is going backwards.

On 9th September, the Prime Minister announced ‘Operation Moonshot’, promising a Test and Trace system which would “allow people to lead more normal lives, without the need for social distancing.”  Labour’s figures show that in the four weeks since that statement, over three quarters of local authorities saw their contact tracing rates decline.

At a time when much of the country is once again being asked to go without seeing their friends and relatives, and seeing their jobs and businesses at risk, the Government owes it to them to finally get a proper track and trace system in place.